Early mornings bring the sounds and smells of waking souls, creaking floors as feet land for the first time of the day. The aroma of coffee, rich and dark, fills the air as if sending out a signal for all to wake and rise. She reluctantly pushes the blankets back, gets out of bed and makes her way downstairs.
There is a mounting pressure as the house begins to fill with activity, muttered sleepy greetings, water running, dishes clanging, and then comes the frantic gathering of books phones, backpacks…the brief kisses, hurried goodbyes, doors slamming shut and the sounds of cars leaving, driving away. It always happens so fast.
The House is now empty and silent, and she pours her coffee, just enough from the bottom of the pot to fill her cup. She pours tap water into the carafe, spoons fresh grounds into the filter and pushes the button to brew. She sits, sighing heavily. She can feel the descent, no longer distracted by the busyness the morning routine, she is left to herself. Her mood is darkening. She can feel its presence. Depression settling in, its darkness like a thick shroud draped around her thin shoulders.
She thinks back to last weeks session with her therapist and recalls the work focused on emotional triggers, identifying and reframing negative thought patterns, and the “tool box” of methods meant to help decrease, if not manage, the symptoms. It is so very hard.
She rises from the table. It feels like she is moving in slow motion and each step takes a tremendous effort. Reaching for the small prescription bottles in the cabinet, she sighs deeply. She knows that without the daily regime of these little pills she will feel much worse, but they offer her no instant relief or boost of energy.
But then she remembers a darker time. Frightening memories of closed in, muted green colored walls and sobbing cries echoing from halls unseen, are enough to make her pry open the medication bottle and pop the tablets into her mouth. She washes them down with a swig of luke warm coffee. “No”, she thinks aloud, “I will not go back there”.
She hears the ticking of the clock as it mocks her. It is 11:00 o’clock already. How can time pass so quickly? She knows there are chores to do, endless tasks that are expected of her before her family returns home. They deserve a tidy house and dinner cooking on the stove after their long days of productive engagement in their lives. She wishes she could jump up and get on with it. Get to it. Get it done. She feels so hopelessly useless.
And so, as she sat there drinking her tenth cup of coffee, the acidity clawing at her empty stomach, the tears roll down her face. She feels so very tired.
Picking up her cell, she finds her list of favorites and hits call. Relief floods over her. A womans voice answers. “There is no need to ask,” the gentle voice says, “I’ll be right over and I will help you. We will get through this together”.
She is grateful for the “toolbox” that she and her therapist put together for days like this. She is thankful for the reminder that she is not alone, that there are people who love her, and she knows that the hardest thing to do, is often the best thing, the one thing that is needed.